After my parents had passed away, I have a person whom I look up to as a father in my heart. He is my teacher who has taught me for 6 years at elementary school. Elementary school of Keio Gijuku is called “Yochisha”, so a lot of people think that it is a kindergarten but it is actually an elementary school called “Yochisha”. There, I met Mr. Tadashi Nakayama who looked after our class for six years.
Mr. Nakayama was a wonderful teacher, full of enthusiasm and strong sense of justice and specialized in mathematics. As our classes never changed throughout the 6 years, we were strongly bonded to each other, the teacher was like our parent and classmates like brothers and sisters. Mr. Nakayama always said to us “Do everything with all your hearts”, “never lie”, “treasure your friends”, “always be considerate to others” and guided us all to be sincere at all times.
I chose to play the violin, following the words of Mr. Nakayama, who said that we should make every effort to do what we really liked, though I had not yet planned to become a violinist at the time.
If I had not met Mr. Nakayama, I may have not become a violinist at all. So I think it was destiny that I had met him.
I believed in his words of “nothing is impossible” and made every effort in practicing the violin though I still could not play well then.
One day, Mr. Nakayama gave out to the class, jumping ropes made of genuine rope and taught us how to do all the difficult jumps such as double unders and triple unders and back double unders. While the students who practiced well, learnt all the difficult jumping techniques, Mr. Nakayama said to us. “Look at your friends’ ropes who are improving fast. You can see that the parts of their ropes that hit the ground are worn out. But the ropes of your friends who do not practice, are still clean and not worn out, so you can tell right away. If you do practice until the ropes get cut, you will be able to do all the difficult jumps. And I will give you brand new ropes when they are totally cut. ”
Since then, my friends and I started practising so hard with our jumping ropes.
Then, I thought about it putting the violin in the jumping rope’s place.
I had realised that if I made efforts, I would be able to play well, even the technically difficult pieces. The reason why I could not play was because I had not made enough efforts. From then, I ran back home every day and started practicing hundreds of times to improve my technique. I sometimes practiced a passage thousand times a day, and I was full of hope. The words “You can do it” by Mr. Nakayama and watching my friends making improvement with the jumping ropes, made me, full of hope.
After a while, I had improved with my violin performance in the level that I myself could notice. With the sense of achievement and fulfilment, I made debut as a professional violinist at the age of 12.
Mr. Nakayama himself , is leading a life full of challenges.
After his 80th birthday, he has become a headmaster of a high school in England, and has left Japan. Usually, people tend to think of leading a quiet life when they become 70 years old. But Mr. Nakayama chose to challenge taking the job of a headmaster in a foreign country which he had never experienced before, and left Japan with his wife.
Mr. Nakayama’s class members were so surprized with mouths widely open, and then we all clapped hands for him, saying “That is our teacher, Mr. Nakayama! We are so proud and we ourselves have to keep on going forward like him.”
When I visited him in England, I was so pleased to see Mr. Nakayama and his wife, sincere as ever, helping each other and living actively as ever.